Target: BP™, a national initiative co-led by the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association (AMA) announced both good news and bad news for adults suffering with hypertension. The good news is that for middle-aged and older adults, hypertension is decreasing due to awareness, effective treatment and control of the disease. However, for a younger generation of adults, progress has come to a dangerous halt.
According to a newly published research study in the journal Hypertension, half of the young patients diagnosed with high blood pressure did not get treatment for their hypertension.
According to the AMA, “Hypertension is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which costs the United States an estimated $51.2 billion from 2012–2013. High blood pressure is also associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality among young adults, decades later. Obesity is also more common among young adults, which can be a leading factor in hypertension that continues as adults grow older.”
Other important study findings include:
- From 2013 to 2014, 7.3 percent of young adults in the U.S. had hypertension.
- From 1999 to 2014, young adults experienced larger increases in awareness, treatment and control than older adults. However, in spite of this, awareness and management among young adults still remained lower than was the case for older adults. These age-related differences were tied to health insurance status and health care use.
- Only 74.7 percent of younger adults were generally aware of the condition of hypertension, compared with 81.9 percent of middle-aged and 88.4 percent of older adults. And when it came to treatment, only 50 percent of young adults underwent treatment while 70.3 percent of middle-age and 83 percent of older adults were treated for hypertension.
“Hypertension is a silent disease often ignored and undertreated,” says Doctor Legato who adds, “the most frequent question I get is ‘can I stop my medication now that my blood pressure is normal?’ And, what I frequently tell patients is that we can always attempt to reduce dosage or even change medications but this is usually a life-long condition. “
Excessive alcohol use, smoking and salt intake are also among the many risk factors for hypertension, so moderation in all things and a reasonably healthy lifestyle which includes diet and exercise can help patients live well.
To learn how to keep your blood pressure under control, visit the Target: BP™ site.